Many tech companies feel that working with contractors is risky, especially if their prospective team is located in another country or works from a different time zone. As contractors ourselves, we don’t agree. A healthy partnership with an outsourcing company can be exactly the right solution for your business - and the initial lack of trust is often the biggest hurdle to overcome during such a cooperation.
You don’t have to take us at our word. Instead, take a look at what our client, Acima, has said on Twitter in response to a thread disparaging cooperation with contractors.
Sorry to contradict both of you but we had an amazing team of contracted Polish developers at Acima that came through a recruiter and they were some of the best devs to work with. (the exception that proves the rule I’m side)— R. Brennan Knotts 🇺🇸 (@bknotts) October 15, 2020
Yes, he meant us. And we like to think that we are not a rare exception.
The misconception of risk in outsourcing
When organizations consider collaboration with an external partner, they often anticipate certain issues and risks. It happens because the popular narrative about outsourcing paints this form of cooperation as less effective, unpleasant, or even dangerous. These concerns arise from a grain of truth - if approached incorrectly, contractors can absolutely disappoint you.
But the twist in this story is that the main reason behind it can be unrealistic expectations, a lack of proper team management, and poor communication. These problems can be avoided fairly easily. All you need to do is see outsourcing as the strategic advantage it can be and set yourself up for success in 6 simple steps.
An example of a successful outsourced project
One of our clients, Acima (64th on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 ranking for North America), offers an innovative consumer lending solution. Their custom web app currently handles 200k requests per month. When they approached us, however, they needed to turn their MVP into scalable software with an intuitive lease management system. iRonin.IT’s team developed and designed a platform that allows Acima’s employees to easily manage new requests for leases and process payments.
We also worked on a second app for analyzing potential customers’ data, and a customer portal. We built an API for external integrations, and helped the client with a solution for tax calculations. We used zero downtime migrations to make sure Acima’s customers wouldn’t be disturbed, improved the software delivery process through best practices, and earned a 5 out of 5 testimonial on Clutch for our hard work.
How did we do it as external contractors? Our developers worked as an extension of Acima’s team. We maintained direct communication with every member of the development team. We made sure to stay agile and responsive, correctly prioritizing tickets and handling the most important ones without delay. The developers we introduced into the project were carefully vetted by our HR team and chosen by Acima’s managers. We believe in giving the client an opportunity to know each individual developer before they join the client’s team, and make the final decision based on a complete set of information.
We were also able to provide the necessary technical expertise. The developers working on Acima’s project were senior-level, with extensive experience in building reliable high-availability software. They knew to focus on precision, top code quality, and the client’s needs.
An outsourced team has the ability to deliver excellent value - they just need to be good at what they do. At iRonin.IT, we use a number of best practices to exceed client’s expectations.
When working with US companies, or organizations in other countries located on the other side of the globe, we can do follow-the-sun programming, which can turn time zone differences into a huge advantage. Usually, there’s a couple of hours of overlap during the work day, which we use for communication and discussing crucial aspects of the project. The rest of the time we make sure to complete tasks so that when the client’s work day starts, our progress will allow them to achieve top efficiency on their side.
We are happy to organize product discovery workshops before the development part of a project begins. These workshops (which are especially beneficial for early stage companies) allow us to share our know-how and experience with the client, advising them as a technology partner. They also gives us time to both learn what we need to know about the client’s business, and get excited about it.
We understand the importance of organizing team introduction calls. They allow us to make sure that everybody knows what the team composition is before kickoff, and that team members will be able to easily communicate with each other. It’s also good for morale and team atmosphere when developers, designers, managers, etc., are seen as real people.
Ready to get started with your outsourced project? Talk to a technology partner with a decade’s worth of know-how and experience.
Passionate about technology and innovations. He is a data-driven and insightful business developer who searches for meaning, areas to improve/optimize in everything he does. Constant learner and pondering analyst. Believes that people, culture, and knowing your own 'why' are the most important things in business and life. The self-organization and discipline are his superpowers.